Zelalem Eshete, Ph.D.
This is a call to Amhara ethnic people from an Amhara ethnic individual. This is a about looking at ourselves inwardly first than looking at others outwardly. In doing so, it is my intention to demonstrate how we can put the problem of unity at the center and look at other ethnic people using different sets of eyeglasses thereby taking the unity dialogue to a new level in truth and love.
We, Amahra of today, need to take the responsibility on our own initiative and stand in the gap to be accountable to the ills of our forefathers. The brokenness of the marginalized, abused and neglected people begets that they are the soul of Ethiopia. This is because the new unity of Ethiopia is championed and realized first by those who are marginalized and abused.
To that end, we rise up and address the problem at hand with three-pronged solutions. How desperately we need to be part of the solution towards a national reconciliation for the transformation of Ethiopian history from marginal unity to authentic unity.
Confession: deal with the past
The Greek word for “confess” is homologeo which means: “to say the same thing” and then “agree, admit, acknowledge”. It is time we say the same thing as the truth. There is debt in the history books. It doesn’t matter if we personally do not have a prejudice against another ethnic group. The debt of past tragedy needs to be settled. It is real and grave. There is nothing more tragic than considering and treating another human being as sub-human because they are of a different ethnic group. We need to teach history to our kids so that they too stand in the gap and become a part of this historic healing process by acknowledging the shame.
The people who suffered a lot shouldn’t be burdened to convince us about what happened. We need to learn on our own and come to the realization that the flaw of a fallen humanity also tarnished the Ethiopia we admire. We need to be burdened by the gravity of the situation so much that our soul is sick of the mistakes made.
Repentance: deal with the present
The Greek word for repentance means: “think differently after” or “after a change of mind”. This is the second step we need to take. Unless we repent, confession is just a lip service with no value whatsoever. Real confession, a realization and acknowledgment of the mistakes done, brings us to repentance. This activity moves us from the past to the present. Repentance or change of thinking is the one that unstuck us and get us moving on the path to healing and reconciliation.
The new Ethiopia is built on this new thinking birthed out of confronting the reality as it is. Lack of repentance (change of thinking), forces us to perpetuate the ills of the past right into the future. It is inexcusable to march on the same or engage in reactive mode in the 21st century.
Discover: deal with the future
When we right the wrongs of the past through confession and repentance, then only we are free from the shackle of the past to envision the future together as a family of one. Together, we discover our new identity that unites us all in truth as never before. Remember that only love is meant to bind us together.
When we come to the light and experience genuine unity based on equality and nobility – we will know that our past unity is just a shadow crying out for the real one. As our identity crises exits and makes a way for the new identity to come forth defining Ethiopia anew – the whole world would witness the other face of Ethiopia: One Family under our Creator!
In conclusion, fulfilling our responsibility would pave the way for the healing process to begin. Unless we move ahead with a new wholesome identity, we relive the mistake of the past reformatted differently that even makes us a victim today.
I conclude by echoing the words of Nelson Mandela:
“Great anger and violence can never build a nation. We are striving to proceed in a manner and towards a result, which will ensure that all our people, both black and white, emerge as victors.”
You can find other writings of Dr. Zelalem Eshete at: www.EthioFamily.com